Fig not fruiting

plantsonmyporchJanuary 22, 2012

Dear fig lovers,

I have been a lurker for a while and learn so much. Right now I have only one unknown fig tree that's a vigorous grower that I can't get it to fruit for the past 3 years and starting to loose hope, though I've been reading on the forum now that it's possible. It seems like a happy tree to me growing up to 6.5-7 feet tall with some nice branches now and it puts up a lot of growth every year. Oh, it's not in the ground, but in a large barrel and it does drop leaves in winter (I overwinter it in a very cool part of the house with light.) The fig leaves have 3 lobes (almost 5, but the last two are not deeply cut), have very light veins contrasting dark green leaves later in the season. Is there anything I can do to encourage fruiting before spring come? I have never pruned it. I was reading how some varieties can be encouraged to fruit from pruning. Is that true for most?

I'm also thinking of finding other fig varieties to try so I don't give up on fig yet. What is a recommendation for a productive, yummy fig that may produce at a very young age that will be ok in containers for the northeast? (too much to ask I know :P) After I've been reading, I'm thinking Kadota/Dottato, Alma or Celeste might be some good varieties to start out with for something productive at young age and I'm considering them. What are some good dark variety that can produce at young age with quality fruit? If anyone has a recommendation or a few cuttings you can spare for me to try, I'd greatly appreciate. I have lots of heirloom tomato seeds and a few unusual edibles to trade.

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They do like pruning and it will not hurt them one bit .
Growing in containers root pruning is needed every few years while limb pruning i do on a yearly basis.
Count about 5 sets of leaves on a branch during the season and cut it beyond that.
This process should help it produce if indeed its of the self pollinating type.
Also they like full sun and fertilizer growing in a container.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:54PM
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Thanks so much, Martin! This is a great help. I'm not even aware of root pruning at all and I imagine this one to be very root-bound. I was able to look up your older posts on this and they were helpful. In your zone, is this the time to prune yet, or do you wait until closer to spring?

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:32AM
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You can prune now however you wish to make tree look and its wise to do so now as its just a waste of tree energy to prune unwanted branches after the tree has pushed out new growth only to then shape it by pruning.

Once you have desired shape you prune again (5th leaf)
as posted in 1st reply for fig production during season.

Keep in mind you want the interior open so sun can penetrate into.
By cutting branches that are growing inwards and or crossing each other.

Also you can trim the very top of plant to height desired.

The horizontal branches you can prune to desired length. As the seasons go by and so the pruning you will notice on the horizontal growth how the new shoots grow some upwards some downwards some inwards and some outwards and prune accordingly.
Dormant time is time to clean up the tree sort to speak before it awakes.

You also want a balance of tree canopy and root system below in pot.
To much top growth not enough root system no good and vice a versa.

Also rootbound potted fig trees suffer eventually they must be pruned as well every so many years or tree will start to stress in growth and fig production and just get worse.

Inground trees roots can spread freely while potted ones encircle and choke each other and die.

As mention the pruning of limbs is done each year to keep tree in check .
Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Thanks again, Martin! You're so sweet and helpful. I'll have so much to learn from you and other members. I'm going to try to prune my fig this weekend :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 7:48PM
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